safety medical

What is Amoxicillin?

Amoxil is one of the brand names given to the generic drug, amoxicillin, a common antibiotic. It is in the penicillin class, so those with an allergy to penicillin would not be able to take this medication. The other brand names that are listed as amoxicillin are Moxatag, Trimox, and Wymox; however, Amoxil is the more commonly used brand when the generic is not available. The only difference is the company that makes them.

What Does Amoxicillin Treat?

The primary function of amoxicillin is that it fights off bacterial infections, especially with regard to the ENT (ears, nose and throat), respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems such as E. coli and salmonella. Amoxicillin is a medication that can and often is used in combination with other antibiotics to treat conditions like gonorrhea, stomach ulcers, and Helicobacter pylori.

Side Effects and Precautions

All medications come with possible side effects. In addition to that, they also come with warning labels of contraindications and advice against use. While amoxicillin is a trusted antibiotic in the medical field, the following precautions are listed on its use.

  1. Those with drug allergies, especially to penicillin antibiotics, should let their doctor know of the allergy and reaction before taking amoxicillin.
  2. It’s important to let treating physicians know what medications and conditions you currently have. If there are several, it may be a good idea to make a list and carry on your person at all times in case of an emergency. This includes all nonprescription medications and herbal supplements. There are certain medications that Amoxil is contraindicated for like chloramphenicol and probenecid.
  3. Be sure to mention to treating physicians if you have a history of kidney or liver disease, as these are the primary systems that break down and process antibiotics. High doses could potentially exacerbate dormant conditions.
  4. Make sure to mention if you are pregnant, could be pregnant, or are trying to become pregnant. While Amoxil has not been found to be harmful to fetuses, it is still wise to take precautions.

Possible side effects are numerous and include, but are not limited to:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin rash
  • Hives
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Headache
  • Dark urine
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Fatigue and dizziness
  • Loss of energy
  • Seizures

Amoxillin Usage and Dosing

Amoxicillin comes in various forms for administration including capsule, tablet, chewables, and liquid suspension. It’s a very common medication used in children, so pediatric dosages vary based on height, weight, and age. The highest dose in adults is 30 mg/kg/day. As with all medication suspensions, it’s usually made with sugar, so those with diabetes or insulin conditions should let their doctor know before using. Amoxicillin should be taken two to three times a day (every 8 or 12 hours) at the same time every day for the entire prescription.

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